All Abducted Students alive in Zamfara forest -says Masari – By Starimagenews

GOVERNOR Aminu Masari of Katsina State said on Wednesday that the kidnapped students of Government Secondary School, Kankara were alive and currently in a forest in Zamfara State.

Masari, who made this remark in an interview with the BBC Hausa Service, said, “They (kidnapped schoolboys) are in Zamfara forests, we have got the information.”

Also speaking during an interview with Channels Television, the governor said efforts were on to ensure that the students returned home safely, adding that discussions were on with the suspected abductors through Miyetti Allah, to ensure the students’ release.

He denied the claim by Boko Haram that it was behind the abduction, insisting local bandits roaming Katsina and Zamfara forests were responsible for it (the abduction).

He said, “It is not true that two students died. I was in school on Saturday and interacted with some of the students who escaped. They did not say any student died.

“I also interacted with the two students who also escaped later; they did not tell me any of the abducted students died or were killed. The news of the death was speculative. The number of students we have yet to account for is 334, although some students have gone to their parents directly.

“We are discussing through the leadership of MACABAN, Miyetti Allah, with those suspected to have carried out the abduction, and I had a meeting with the Commissioner of Police and heads of security agencies two or three hours ago.”

The governor pointed out that his administration would not pay ransom for the release of the students.

After attack, CNG begins protest over abducted Katsina schoolboys

Reacting to the abduction of 333 students, Arewa socio-cultural organisation under the aegis of the Coalition of Northern Groups said it would on Thursday storm Katsina State to kick off agitation for the freedom of 333 students of Government Science Secondary School in Kankara, Katsina State, abducted by Boko Haram insurgents.

The protesters, who are to be led by the chairman, Board of Trustees of CNG, Nastura Ashir Shariff, will join other members from Jigawa, Kano and Katsina states to compel government to act fast.

The spokesperson for the CNG, Abdul-Azeez Suleiman, said these in a statement on Wednesday titled, ‘CNG storms Katsina, to kick off #Bringbackourboys protests Thursday’.

But residents of the state on Wednesday opposed the planned protest, saying efforts should be concentrated on how to rescue the students.

The CNG spokesman, in his statement, said, “The exercise, harsh tagged #Bringbackourboys, which will kick off in Katsina on Thursday, is expected to proceed to Daura to register the current concerns with Mr President.

“Led by its Board of Trustees Chairman Nastura Ashir Shariff, the CNG is already in touch with parents of the stolen schoolchildren and assured them of support through this trial moment.

“It will be unreasonable to expect any northerner and well meaning Nigerians to fold their arms and watch the North, a significant component of the country, abandoned to the mercy of bandits, murderers and kidnappers.

“The police in Katsina are seen in a massive reinforcement around the state which calls for caution on the part of authorities against attempts at suppressing legitimate protests that will be conducted peacefully.”

We won’t stop visiting school until our children are freed – Parents

Meanwhile, parents of the abducted Government Secondary Science School, Kankara, Katsina State, on Wednesday said they would continue to go to the school until their children regained freedom.

One of the parents, Hajiya Binta Muhammad, in an interview with The PUNCH, said he would not be tired of going to the school until her son, Muhammad, was set free.

The woman, who spoke in Hausa through an interpreter in Kankara on Wednesday, said, “I have been coming to Kankara since Saturday, hoping that my son would be freed and return home with me. I will be coming to the school until my son is rescued. I will not be tired of coming here.”

Another woman, Murjanatu Danja, said, “My husband and I have been coming here since Saturday, hoping that our son, Hussaina Nasiru, will be brought back. Yesterday (Tuesday), my husband was here while I am here today. We are appealing to the government to ensure quick release of our children.”

Suspend boarding facilities in the North, CAN tells FG

In a related development, the Christian Association of Nigeria has called for the suspension of the boarding facilities in private and government schools in the northern parts of the country pending when the security situation improves.

The organisation also advised the Federal Government to direct the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to provide protection for schools and colleges nationwide especially in the areas where security appeared compromised.

While describing the abduction of 333 students of GSS, Kankara in Katsina State as “another tragic chapter in the history of the country occasioned by the criminal activities of some hoodlums”, CAN said the criminals operated in Nigeria with impunity “as if our security agencies are on holiday”.

The President of CAN, Dr. Samson Ayokunle, stated these in a statement by his Special Assistant (Media and Communications), Adebayo Oladeji.

The statement reads in part, “The fact that the unfortunate incident happened while the Chief Security Officer of the country and the President, Muhammadu Buhari, is in his home state means these criminals have sent a strong message to him that the security architecture of the country has been compromised under his watch.”

CAN called on relevant security agencies to liberate the innocent students before those holding them captive began to use them as suicide bombers.

“CAN calls for the suspension of the boarding facilities in all the private and government schools in the Northern part of the country until the security situation improves. We equally advise the Federal government to direct the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps to provide protection for schools and colleges nationwide especially in the areas where security appears compromised,” the statement added.

Military not part of negotiations with bandits – DHQ

Meanwhile, the Defence Headquarters has dissociated the military from the reported negotiations by the Katsina State Government with the hoodlums that abducted 333 students of GSS, Kankara last Friday.

It said the military would continue its ongoing kinetic operations, noting that the armed forces were reviewing strategies to ensure the safe rescue of the children.

The Coordinator, Defence Media Operations, Maj. Gen. John Enenche, stated this while giving an update on the military operations across the country in Abuja on Wednesday.

He said it was not part of the rule of engagement of the military to negotiate with perceived criminals, promising that the security forces would rescue the schoolboys from their abductors soon.

Enenche noted, “I don’t know from history where the military or the armed forces go into negotiations when it comes to ransom and I don’t have any record. Nothing is connecting the armed forces with negotiation. If the governor believes in that as a father, he is seeing it in a larger perceptive.”

Enenche said that the military had taken the necessary brief from other agencies and the Katsina State Government on the condition of the abducted students.

Based on the latest information, the DHQ spokesman said the hostages were still with the bandits unharmed.

He noted, “Nobody is dead; we have not received anything that anybody is dead from the information that we have on the situation and then, the troops are on guard as it were.”

Enenche dismissed the reported claim by the Boko Haram leader, Abubakar Shekau, that the school children were abducted by his men, observing that it was the usual propaganda of terrorist group

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